E P Nichols

"Teddy"--Warmhearthed and Witty

E. P. NICHOLS was one of the jolliest drivers to be found on the Overland State Line. He came from New York to Kansas in the spring of 1857. His early stage-driving in Kansas was up the Kew valley west from Topeka for the Kansas Stage Company. He was afterwards a driver on the famous Leavenworth & Pike's Peak Express route, one of the first drivers employed.

He was known from the Missouri river to the Pacific as "Teddy" Nichols. He drove between Atchison and Salt Lake in the early '60's for the Overland Stage Line, and for some months in 1864, was a division agent on the line from Latham to the west. He was a warmhearted, whole-souled, fellow, witty, and universally esteemed by nearly every employee on the line, his name being familiar to all "Overland" boys employed between Atchison and Placerville.

Few drivers on the "Overland" were possessed of so remarkable a memory as Teddy Nichols. He could relate many events connected with staging that scores of other drivers had long since forgotten. After the first railroad to the Pacific was completed, Mr. Nichols went west to the coast, where he was for several years engaged in staging, finally drifting back east as far as Arizona, where he was for some years again employed; but he then held the more responsible and lucrative position of superintendent of an important stage line in that territory.

In 1886, after a continuous service of more than a quarter of a century in his favorite occupation, driving a distance of more than 300,000 miles, he returned to his early Kansas home, near Topeka, where he shortly married. His wife died in a year or two, and he afterward drifted overland south into the Indian Territory, remaining there until he died in 1894.

Send comments, suggestions or inquiries: Overland Trail

[Overland Trail | Links ]

Created and maintained by Elizabeth Larson
Copyright 1996-2000